USA: Supreme Court May Take On More LGBT Rights Cases This Session

Written by scott on October 8th, 2013

US Supreme CourtIs the US Supreme Court set to make more history this session on LGBT rights?

Lisa Keen at Keen News Service reports:

Meanwhile, there are other gay-related cases with the potential to come before the Supreme Court this session -some in follow up to the marriage equality cases, some within the ongoing clash over whether one can claim a right to discriminate against LGBT people by designating that discrimination as part of one’s exercise of religious freedom. Elane Photography v. Vanessa Willock out of New Mexico is one of a growing number of lawsuits pitting the constitutional right to free exercise of religion against state laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Another gay-related case that could soon be seeking Supreme Court review is Pickup v Brown, which tests the constitutionality of California’s newly passed law to ban “sexual orientation change efforts” (reparative therapy) for persons under the age of 18. A lower court judge had granted a preliminary injunction against the law going into effect, but, on August 29, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals reversed that injunction, saying the law “is neither vague nor overbroad, and does not violate parents’ fundamental rights.”

And Keen speculates that another marriage equality case could reach the Court in the near future:

The farthest along and most likely to reach the Supreme Court first is one by Lambda Legal out of Nevada. That case, Sevcik v Sandoval, was dismissed at the federal district court level but Lambda has an appeal pending before the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals and briefing closes on or two weeks after November 18. A second lawsuit, Jackson v Abercrombie, against Hawaii’s ban on same-sex marriage, has final briefs due to the Ninth Circuit on December 23 or two weeks thereafter. Depending on how quickly the Ninth Circuit moves on the cases, they could potentially be appealed to the Supreme Court this session but they would likely be heard next session.

Either one of these cases could theoretically open up the rest of the country to full marriage equality, basically overnight.

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